March — April 2008

Volume 7 Issue 40

The Avondale Historical Journal
Official Publication of the Avondale-Waterview Historical Society Incorporated

(Above) The old Salvation Army Hall, Great North Road (right, by the trees). One of a series of photographs donated by the Clews family. Note the school traffic patrol, where today there’s a pedestrian refuge crossing. (Left) Neville Exler (another of his photos) outside the old Avondale Fire Station, Blockhouse Bay Road. This was built in 1929, demolished in the 1980s.

Next meeting of the Avondale-Waterview Historical Society: Saturday, 12 April 2008, 2.30 pm

Lion’s Hall, corner Blockhouse Bay Road and Great North Road Please contact the Society for details.

The Avondale Historical Journal

Volume 7 Issue 40 Page 2

Of School
by Don Gwilliam
Don Gwilliam lives in Kamo. This is one of a number of stories he said we could publish. Thanks, Don, they’re very special. — Editor With my fifth birthday being in introduction to school was short sweet. Come February, after six didn't need to go back. I'd been Remember? early December, my - but not necessarily weeks of holidays, I to school. Last year. Where other classes pecked around the easier edges of Stevenson's Child's Garden of Verses, we rote-learned Scott's Lochinvar and Noye's Highwayman, romping through the Rhythms of the words and loving every moment. When we sang, it was from the lighter classics. Other classes sang rounds. We sang parts. Most classes plastered on tempura, but Mr Cumming showed us light and shade. Crafts too, were part of every day. Social Studies saw us building relief models of the Geography of a River Valley, terraced hill Pas and stockades - even New Zealand, contoured and coloured. Where is Whakatane? Picton? Mitre Peak? Even Kamo? Ah, yes, Kamo. Coal was mined there, then. One enchanting, vegetable-turps scented afternoon, Cummo showed us how to marble the end papers of our essay folders. Mr Cumming knew all about the power of vision. With him, we roved the world through the Dufays, Anscos and Kodachromes of his National Geographies, sometimes on stuffy, room-darkened afternoons, seeing them projected large by a big, hot-smelling epidiascope. And who converted the infant block basement into a film room? Who fundraised to get one of the old original, boxy, sixteen millimetre Bell & Howell projectors? Mr Cumming, of course! Tables, Mental Arithmetic, the Dozen Rule, Spelling and their and there were learned by the strap. A stiff and inflexible length of industrial belting. Belting is the descriptive word. Mr Cumming used it daily and with vigour. Honestly, I can't remember for sure but a cobber vows the teacher used to jump down from the blackboard platform as the strap slashed. Memory does strange things. Am I right in recalling the strap as nondiscriminator - girls as well as boys putting out their hands? Hurting paw clamped tight under an armpit we returned, eyes smarting, to our tip seat, tilt top, shared wooden desks. Perhaps those years planted the germ of the idea that I might become a teacher? Better even than being an Engine Driver? To be as good at the job as Cummo? There was a lot of track to go beneath the wheels, of course. Well over twenty years of it and a quite different career too. It's all another story - or two - and if you are good and go off to sleep without a fuss now, some other time (perhaps) I will tell you. Don Gwilliam - August 2002-08-09 who was at Avondale Primary 1942 - 1948

Mum thought differently. She fetched the razor strop off the back of the bathroom door and chased me up Rosebank Rd and along Layard St, licking the strap around my behind and legs whenever she could get in range. I raced into Avondale Primary, was received by Miss Garry (a no-nonsense teacher indeed), hurled into a desk beside the biggest boy in the class and knew when I was beaten. It was two Dons together. Don Oliver was, in time, to be a New Zealand medallist Weight Lifter. Don Gwilliam was to become no one in particular. School milk (a quarter pint bottle, warm from the sun) was issued to each student. Inexperienced, I poked too hard at the straw hole in the cardboard cap and jetted full cream milk over myself and stank sour for the rest of the day. First impressions. First memories. Funny how they stick so well. Like the lunch time apples. The scent arrived first, as soon as the box was brought into the block. Unwrapped from the tissue, the export quality applies were a delight. Why haven't Cox's Orange ever tasted so good again? In the 1940s, promotion (Primer One to Standard Four) had to be by merit. After all, why were my cobbers being skipped up a class? I wasn't. Instead, time passed and my turn came with the seasons. And like the seasons, the teachers came and went - until Cummo. Mr Cumming, to my eight-year-old sensibilities, was as wide as he was tall - short at that, oldish, bespectacled and, am I right in thinking his hair was a bit thin? Whatever, this man came bearing gifts galore. He was an eye opener, the oft-mentioned breath of fresh air. An inducer of dreams; a word weaver; a projector of ideas and knowledge, who formed pictures (technicolour ones at that) that shaped, evolved, changed by the hour on his charges' mind-screens. That our modest, ordinary class could be so lucky? Triple lucky? For we were thrice blessed. Right through Standard One, Standard Two and, unbelievably, Standard Three – I think! An artist. That's what Curnmo was. A Teacher Artist.

The Avondale Historical Journal

Volume 7 Issue 40 Page 3
we were racing, with local midget drivers, Bill Texeira (Hadfield Avenue), Jacky Ryan (Cadman Avenue), Lloyd Nutt and John Cavanagh (opposite Fairlands in Great North Road) to look up to. What would you expect from the youth; one of which Trevor Carnell went on to race at the Springs. Oakley Creek: the waterfall and swimming pool, sled rides on the pine needles on bits of tin or builders malthoid taken from the building sites that were springing up in Waterview, sprats and whitebait where Oakley Creek met the salt water by Cowley Sreet. Putting fine chicken netting over a four gallon tin to separate the sprats from whitebait and taking them home for whitebait fritters. The sprats were headed and tailed then pickled in jars, then a hundred yards below the waterfall and pool was one of my fondest spots. First I would shoot a rabbit or possum in the paddocks at the bottom of Fairlands Avenue (Mum would always give the warning, watch out for Blossom, this was our house cow that Mum used the cream from to make our butter from red, blue, purple or whatever food colouring was handy), take it over to the creek and find a very bushy Manuka branch, skin the rabbit or possum and tie it to the centre of the bushy part. Placing it in a still portion of the creek, leaving it there till morning, hard to wait for but morning did arrive and going to the branch and slowly bring it to the bank, oh the joy half a four gallon tin of fresh water crayfish. Yes, growing up was fun at Waterview, I just wish it for the kids today.

Memories of Yesteryear at Waterview by Trevor Gazzard
In the 1930s we moved from Waihi in the Bay of Plenty to Seaside Ave, Waterview. We were No 35, the Fairlands Avenue end, but there were only half a dozen houses in the street. As for Fairlands Avenue there were only twelve houses; out of the eighteen houses there were only seven with cars and five with phones. Between Seaside and Hatfield Avenue in Fir Street there was a phone box, the next being at Alford Street beside the Four Square shop, one of many names over the years. The milk came from Stonex Bros who had their depot at Pt Chev. About eight horses and carts, delivered milk into our billy at the front door, the cart had four milk cans either side with a walk way in the middle. The ice man with his covered-in and insulated cart also delivered blocks of ice for our ice box -- no fridges, they came later after the war. Then there was the bread, Buchanan's Bakery, delivered to the door in a wicker basket with a canvas flap over the basket to keep the rain and dust out. as with the milkman, they went from house to house. The horse would on its own keep up with the delivery person. Fairlands Avenue being the steepest street in Waterview it was the ideal race track for our trolleys: cast iron, pram and ball bearing wheels it was all the same to us. With a lookout at Hadfield and Fairlands and another at Seaside

More photographs from the Clews family collection. (Left) The view down Racecourse Parade, with a “Parallel Parking Only” sign to the left, and a view of the racecourse in the distance. The houses at the right are still there today. This photo is probably 1960s. (Right). Looking along Great North Road from the corner of Racecourse Parade. On the left corner beside the dairy, there now stands the BNZ building, so this photo is from before 1965.

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(Above) 1949 Primer 1 photograph of Avondale Primary School pupils, from Peter Hjorring (top row, third from right). I do like this photo — the kids posed on a form with a long mat below for those sitting cross-legged. Behind them, the Great North Road, and the Clews family’s distinctive house (left) which in the bottom photo was probably taken around 10 years later. Today, that’s just the site of an old Shoprite store building now a somewhat rundown grocery store. My thanks to Peter Hjorring and the Clews family for the chance to share these photographs.

The Avondale Historical Journal
Published by: the Avondale-Waterview Historical Society Inc. Editor: Lisa J. Truttman Society contact: 19 Methuen Road, Avondale, Auckland Phone: (09) 828-8494, 027 4040 804 Fax: (09) 828-8497, email: Society information: Subscriptions: $10 individual $15 couple/family $30 corporate Website: index Copies of Avondale Historical Journal and AWHS Newsletter produced for us by Words Incorporated, 557 Blockhouse Bay Road, Blockhouse Bay. The Society and AHJ editorial staff thank

Avondale Business Association
for their continued support and sponsorship of this publication.

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